Elson Floyd

  • Died: June 20, 2015
  • Location: Pullman, Washington


Elson Floyd

Washington State University President dies at 59

The Associated Press

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Elson Floyd, president of Washington State University, has died at 59 of complications from colon cancer.

Floyd had been president since 2007 and went on medical leave earlier this month. He died Saturday morning at Pullman Regional Hospital, said a school spokeswoman, Kathy Barnard.

"Though his prognosis and outlook remained positive, recently the illness took a more serious turn," wrote Board of Regents Chair Ryan Durkan in an email to the faculty and staff members.

Among his achievements, Durkan said, are a successful $1 billion capital campaign, bipartisan support for a medical school at WSU's Spokane campus and the Washington State's largest enrollment in 125 years.

Floyd, a native of North Carolina, was the 10th president of the school, whose main campus is in Pullman in far eastern Washington.

His university biography lists previous posts as president of the four-campus University of Missouri and president of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. He began his career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he had done his undergraduate and post-graduate work.

Referring to Washington State's athletic mascot, Gov. Jay Inslee said Elson "turned Washington State into Cougar State, dramatically expanding the scope of the university on both sides of the mountains."

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington called him "truly one of a kind. He led WSU with incredible energy, passion, and a deep and personal commitment to our students and communities." U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington cited his enthusiasm for a range of initiatives, from biofuels to medical education.

Details of a memorial service are pending, the school said.

Condolence & Memory Journal


Carmento -- it was with great sadness that I learned of the death of your wonderful husband. You have been in my thoughts and prayers, as well as all of your family. I have fond memories of taking our real estate class together in Columbia. You will remember me as the one who couldn't hear you very well when you told me what your husband did for a living. I still laugh when I think of the look on your face when I asked when you thought he would be getting out. May your many wonderful memories serve you well in the time to come.

Posted by Carolyn Horstmeier - Fulton, MO - Friend   August 26, 2015

My Condolence to Dr. Floyd mom, Daughter Jessica, Carminto Floyd and his step-son Kenny. I cleaned the president house @ WMU Dr. Floyd was a wonderful person to talk to. He was 1 in a million. He was unique. I enjoy talking with him. He said he was the peace keeper in the family. I meant his mother when she came up to visit him in Kalamazoo, Mi She was such a joy to be around. I know you have faith and God will give you all strength. He will always hold a pleasure in my heart. I see him and hear his voice. Dr. Floyd you will alway be remember here at Western Mich Univ. We all fell your sorrow and lost of a Wonderful man, that could never be replace. God makes no mistakes he only takes the best. Rest In Heaven. Dr. Elson S. Floyd.. Arlene Buchanan Kal Mi

Posted by Arlene Buchanan - Kal, Mi - I cleaned the President house at   June 27, 2015

Posted by Robert Harrison - Annapolis, MD - Cousin   June 23, 2015

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Elson Floyd